Springbok 2019 Rugby World Cup winner Eben Etzebeth started the first game of his career at blindside flanker in Toulon’s 35-13 home victory over 14-man Stade Francais on Sunday.
Argentina flyhalf Nicholas Sanchez was shown a red card on the stroke of half-time after making contact with the head of the hosts’ Baptiste Serin at a ruck.
The three-time European champions climbed up to third place as the visitors remain in eighth, five points away from the play-offs.
Eben Etzebeth was moved from lock by Toulon coach Patrice Collazo minutes before kick-off as Swann Rebbadj pulled out in the warm-up.
Away coach Gonzalo Quesada made 10 alterations from the loss at Toulouse earlier this month.
Collazo’s men led 15-6 just after the half-hour mark as ex-All Black Isaia Toeava and France flyhalf Louis Carbonel crossed.
An apologetic Sanchez was sent off in the final play of the half after his shoulder made contact with Serin’s head while attempting to make a clear-out at a breakdown.
Eben Etzebeth completed the full 80 minutes on his 20th appearance for Toulon.